Resolutions stick better in Spring

Did you find yourself, January 1st, setting a load of New Years’ Resolutions? Going to the gym 5 times a week, no alcohol, 10,000 steps a day, 2 litres of water, going vegan, calling your mum every week. Do you find yourself, as we head into April, feeling like you’ve failed miserably at all of these? No weight lost, still not calling your parents enough, too many pints on a Friday night? Well, fear not, because you now have another opportunity to set some well-meaning resolutions and make them stick.

By Ellie King

New Year, New Me. We hear this phrase banded around every year, encouraging us to set a whole bucket of resolutions at the start of a new journey around the sun. This makes sense. It’s a whole new calendar year, it’s a fresh start, nothing can go wrong. But so often, our resolutions fail. But is it really a fresh start?

A black and white image of the interior of a building. There are some tables and chairs with the sunlight coming through the large windows on the right.
Image: Ivy Zhuo.

Not in Nature

January 1st means very little in the natural world. Nature is in the depth of winter, hibernating, asleep. Little activity is happening. You don’t see a family of blackbirds decide to up their exercise. You don’t see the grass in your garden decide it needs to drink 2 litres of water a day. So, if all of nature around us is not making a fresh start, why do we?

Not in the Calendar Either

Back in the day (as in, centuries ago), our year used to start on March 25th. The Romans only had a 10-month calendar, and March was the first month. Even after January and February were added in around 700BC, and Julius Caesar introduced the Julian calendar, which started in January, at large, Europe marked the New Year on March 25th until 1752, when they adopted our current Gregorian Calendar.

Why March 25th?

March 25th was Annunciation Day: when the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was with child; 9 months before Christmas Day. This was commonly accepted in the Common Era, until 1752. Prior to this, March 25th signalled the vernal equinox, the first day of Spring, and so the Romans saw it as the beginning of the planting season.

This means our new year used to align with the time associated with new beginnings: Spring. In nature, spring is the time where lambs are born, daffodils bloom, and nature generally wakes up and gets going again. Life is renewed, so why not our lives too?

A path with flowers and trees either side. There are buildings and a blue sky in the background.
Image: University of Warwick.

We’ve all found resolutions in January extremely hard to keep. It’s cold, dark most of the time, and the last thing we want to do is rise from the sofa and change out of our warm fluffy clothes to head to the gym for some exercise. No wonder we struggle.

But in Spring, there is activity in nature, the sun is getting warmer, the nights are lighter, and everything just feels better. With this momentum behind us, our goals are far more likely to stick.

Making Resolutions in Spring

So, if you’ve found yourself failing at your resolutions so far, take this blog as a sign that you can start again. Here is your permission for resolutions, round two. But this doesn’t mean they’re fool proof. We still need to set better, more achievable resolutions.

Instead of ‘walk 10,000 steps a day’ how about, ‘I’ll go for two 30-minute walks.’ This is more achievable, as you can control the time and effort you put into the steps, but not necessarily the exact number of steps you do. Carving out space for these goals is also crucial for success.

A drawing of the outside of Warwick Arts Centre, being held up in front of some trees and grass.
Image: Emily Alger.

Instead of ‘I’ll exercise more,’ how about ‘I’ll go to the gym twice a week and I’ll join a netball club.’ The number of gym trips is far more achievable, and you’re adding in a fun activity that is not only giving you exercise, but social time as well.

In conclusion, follow nature and use this time to start afresh. Make achievable goals and invest the time in making them happen. Don’t expect full results straight away, and don’t be too hard on yourself. You’ll bloom.

What are your Spring resolutions? Let us know by tweeting us @researchex, messaging us on Instagram @warwicklibrary or emailing us at

Have you read our latest posts? Check out Cherisse’s post on Getting out of your own head or take a look at Ivy’s post on the best places for academic reading.

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